NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — After marriage was redefined to include same-sex couples in New York, Archbishop Timothy Dolan is warning that this step could lead to a further redefinition that accepts multiple partners and infidelity.
The New York City archbishop said that in recent decades the Church has been a prophetic voice warning that no-fault divorce, contraception, cohabitation and promiscuity would lead to “a cheapening of the marriage bond and harm our kids.”
“And now we ring the steeple bell again at this latest dilution of the authentic understanding of marriage, worried that the next step will be another redefinition to justify multiple partners and infidelity,” he said.
The archbishop surveyed the effects of the June 24 passage of New York’s same-sex “marriage” law in a July 7 post on his official blog, The Gospel in the Digital Age.
In an apparent response to the argument advanced in The New York Times and elsewhere that the Church shrank from openly fighting the legislation in his state, Archbishop Dolan said he and his brother bishops “were on the frontiers” against the bill in their writings, sermons, personal lobbying and interviews.
He said the bishops were also backed up “by indefatigable efforts” from the New York State Catholic Conference, ecumenical and interreligious cooperation, and thousands of Catholic faithful.
“We have been bloodied, and bruised, and, yes, for the moment, we have been defeated. But we’re used to that. So was the Founder of our Church,” he wrote.
He said that while Catholics have no concern for political “clout” or how they’re perceived in the media, “we do worry indeed” about our freedom of religion, which could potentially be threatened by same-sex “marriage” legislation.
“Editorials already call for the removal of guarantees of religious liberty, with crusaders calling for people of faith to be coerced to acceptance of this redefinition,” he said.
Archbishop Dolan noted that, ironically, “the real forces of ‘intolerance’ were unmasked” in the debate by those defending traditional marriage being consistently depicted as “right-wing bigots and bullies.”
However, he added, “the problem is not homophobia but theophobia, a hatred by some of God, faith, religion and the Church.”
Archbishop Dolan also said he’s worried that the new law and similar legislation around the U.S. will stifle religious rights.
“If the experience of those few other states and countries where this is already law is any indication,” believers “will soon be harassed, threatened and hauled into court for their conviction that marriage is between one man, one woman,” he said.
The New York archbishop underscored that, from the outset, the goal of Catholics in the fight “was pro-marriage, never anti-gay.”
“As I replied recently to a reporter who asked if I had any message to the gay community, ‘Yes: I love you. Each morning I pray with and for you and your true happiness and well-being. I am honored that so many of you are at home within our Catholic family, where, like the rest of us, we try, with the help of God’s grace and mercy, to conform our lives to Jesus and his message.’”
Archbishop Dolan insisted that, ultimately, regardless of same-sex “marriage” legislation and subsequent intolerance for religious beliefs, the Church always has and will stand “up for marriage: one man and one woman, united in lifelong and faithful love.”
“None of this is anti-anybody, but simply pro marriage,” he wrote.
Archbishop Dolan’s full post can be read at: http://blog.archny.org/?p=1349